Recently a friend asked if I would like an introduction to Linda Rodin, the fashion stylist who became an accidental beauty pioneer when she decided to sell her face oil she concocted at home (at a time when face oils were mostly relegated to health food stores) to the public. It went pretty well, and in 2014, she sold her company to Estee Lauder. Today, at 71, she has launched her newest venture (one that might be closer to her heart), Linda and Winks–a line of canine accessories that embodies Linda’s personal snappy sense of style (and is shown off to great affect by her miniature Silver Poodle).
Who wouldn’t want to be a little like Linda? She seems to blatantly ignore all the rules of aging, which has in turn made her a style and career role model for many. (Forget millennial influencers, she’s got almost a quarter of a million followers.) There is a joy and sense of lightness in how she dresses (denim almost always) and she is forever on to the next and purposefully nurtures her creative spirit (which we all get to enjoy). Here she shares career advice, what style means to her and how Winks influenced her new collection.
Please introduce yourself and describe what you do: I’m Linda Rodin and I’ve recently made my segue from beauty to the beast.
Let’s talk about your latest company. What inspired you to enter the world of dog accessories? Did Winks put you up to this? What is the premise of the line? Well, Winks certainly was the the inspiration for this new venture. My muse. My most lovable and constant companion. The premise of the line is that dogs can reflect their owners style. I’m a denim girl and like simple and cool types of clothing. So…..I want my better half to mirror my style. Currently we are only selling on our lindaandwinks.com site and also on Instagram @lindaandwinks. We have a few new things in the pipeline and will keep you posted when these launches get closer.
At 59, you transitioned from being a fashion stylist to creating Rodin, which became super successful and you ultimately sold it to Estee Lauder. So many women look up to you because of your successful pivot at that age—meaning there’s hope for the rest of us….what would you tell women about finding a new path later in life? I never saw things that way from an age perspective and I still don’t. I just need to be creative in my life. I always have been and I’ve never thought about in an age context.
Do you get tired/annoyed of being the poster woman for someone older who made it big? Do you even pay attention to it? No I don’t get tired of it. I’m flattered by it and I embrace it completely. It’s lovely to be relevant at any age.
For both companies—what came easiest for you in the beginning? Both came from a passionate place.
What was the hardest part about starting out, or something that surprised you? The creative aspect is always the easier and more joyful one. But as the saying goes “the devil is in the details”.
Three words that describe your new company: Charming. Simple. And kind of cool.
Three words that describe you: Loyal. Hardworking. Honest.
One of your attributes that helps you succeed: Perseverance.
Role model: My mom. She was always starting a business and never stopped creating.
Best career advice you would share to someone starting out: Stay true to your idea.
What has been your biggest success? Hmmmm. Staying healthy and active.
What has been your biggest dud? What did you learn from it? Too many to count.
How do you define style? I’m pretty simple and I suppose more of a tomboy than a girlie girl type.
Why does style matter? I’m not sure. For me it’s about expressing myself.
Life goals: Stay healthy.
Daily goals: Be productive even if it’s one small thing I’ve been able to accomplish.
Favorite inspirational/motivational read: Oh too many to name. Willa Cather always comes to mind. Thoreau. Emerson.
Favorite sites/people you follow: Dog peeps.
Favorite artist: Again, too many wonderful ones. Cezanne. Van Gogh. Calder. Turner. Giacometti. Endless list.
Daily rituals: First walk of the day with Winks to the best matcha bar for morning cappuccino on West 15th Street.
How do you unplug? I literally UNPLUG.
Hidden talent/hobby: It’s not a talent really, but a passion — beach combing.
Favorite charity: The Humane Society and Planned Parenthood.
Do you collect anything? As I mentioned earlier, shells. And charms. Ceramics. Art I can afford.
Biggest splurge you don’t regret: An extraordinary painting by a Mexican painter who was a student of Orozco. It’s huge and covers my entrance hall wall.
Favorite small indulgence: Waking up in the morning with nothing to do. So I’d say seeing a blank page in my date book!
Album currently on repeat: Duke Ellington.
Scent that brings back memories: Someone baking brownies–my favorite activity with my mom.
Lucky charm: Winky.
Favorite hour of the day: About 5 when the day is slowly winding down and I can just stare out the window randomly at the sky with Winks by my side. Heavenly moment.
Follow Linda: Instagram.
Top photo: Martyn Thompson, second photo, Soraya Silchendstet